Kent Walton

Kent Walton

Kent Walton (22 August 1917 - 24 August 2003), born Kenneth Walton Beckett, was a British television sports commentator and presenter.

Despite affecting a transatlantic accent which lead many to believe he was Canadian, he was in fact born in Cairo, Egypt, the son of the Minister for Finance in the colonial government. He grew up at Haslemere in Surrey and went to Charterhouse School.

He went on to attend the Embassy School of Acting in London, and then appeared in rep. On the outbreak of war in 1939, he joined the Royal Air Force, serving in Bomber Command as a radio operator and a front gunner. He acquired his accent while mixing with Canadian airmen.

After the end of the war he briefly returned to acting, before turning his hand to tennis and football commentary. He made his television wrestling commentary debut on the new ITV network in November 1955, a job he was to keep for the next 33 years. At its peak in the 1970s, ITV's wrestling coverage, on its World of Sport programme, could command an audience of up to 12 million between the football half-time and full-time results spots (4.00 - 4.40 p.m.) on Saturdays. Although fans of ITV's wrestling coverage reportedly included The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother and Margaret Thatcher, enthusiasm for wrestling was not shared by ITV's Head of Sport, Greg Dyke, and in 1988 he dropped the sport from the schedules, a blow from which it never recovered.

Apart from commentating, Kent Walton also spent time as a disc jockey on Radio Luxembourg, and for a short time presented two popular music TV shows, "Honey Hit Parade" and "Cool for Cats".

In the early 1970s he was involved with British sexploitation movies and is credited as a producer of:
*"It's the Only Way to Go" (1970)
*"Clinic Exclusive", aka "Clinic Xclusive", aka "With These Hands" (1971)
*"Virgin Witch", aka "Lesbian Twins" (1972)

He used other pseudonyms to keep this part of his life away from his fans, but it was revealed in a 1975 episode of the TV documentary series "Man Alive".

Walton married Lynn Smith in 1949, and they had a son.

External links

*imdb name|id=0910553|name=Kent Walton
* [ Kent Walton obituary] at "The Daily Telegraph" August 27, 2003
* [,3604,1037262,00.html Kent Walton obituary] at "The Guardian" September 8, 2003

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